Three reasons why most New Year’s resolutions are like bad marketing plans.


dr jones

source: dr jones

On January 3, when we returned from visiting family in New Jersey, I headed over to my local gym, as I do nearly 4 -5 days a week.

The lines for the treadmills were practically out the door.  I was in the mood for a run, the elliptical machine just would not do.  So I waited but I was secretly annoyed at the gym newbies taking up time on the equipment.  They’ll be out of here within a month, I thought.

On January 11, just over one week later, the traffic had already diminished.  It got me thinking about how New Year’s resolutions, particularly those focused on fitness and losing weight, are doomed to fail if they are structured like short-term tactical plans. Like poorly constructed marketing initiatives, they lack strategy, planning, support and accountability.

1. Many New Year’s Resolutions are short-term goals and not grounded in an overall strategy or cohesive plan.

Typical Resolution: “I’m going to loose 15 pounds this year“   This is a goal, but fairly tactical.

Better Resolution: “I am healthier and have increased my energy and resilience by committing to regular exercise and a more nutritious diet.”

This sets an intention in the present tense. It also communicates an overall mission with a strategy. What do you want to do and how are you going to get there?  Create a road map by writing down your goals and include a detailed action plan for each day or week so that you can track and celebrate your progress.

2. Many New Year’s Resolutions are made last minute.

This may indicate a lack of commitment and planning.  You’ll have better luck if your resolution is something you’ve identified is a strong need and that you’ve thought about for longer than 15 minutes. You’ve weighed the benefits of committing to the resolution (what benefits it will bring to your life) and you’ve analyzed what you’ll miss if you don’t stick to the resolution

3. Many resolutions aren’t shared with others and lack accountability.

To realize your goals, you need to write them down and you need support. Share your goals with others so they will support you and reinforce your commitment.  It is no surprise Weight Watchers is so successful. You get support from other members and you are accountable to others to demonstrate that you are sticking to plan.

Want to make a real change in your life?  Start now. Don’t wait until New Years, or your dog’s birthday or the next solar eclipse. Incorporate strategy, planning, support and accountability. And don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

What tips to you have for achieving your goals?  Please click on the comment link and add your thoughts.






3 responses to “Three reasons why most New Year’s resolutions are like bad marketing plans.

  1. I’m trying to do better resolution-ing. So I made ambitious goals, ones that can be achieved (not things to be avoided), and did it with a huge group.

    Our list includes ridiculously ambitious goals like getting Bubble Tea with Barack Obama, and more reachable ones like getting accepted to Yale, becoming a master of Go, and learning Kabbalah.

  2. sarahmontague

    Thanks, Micah. I checked out your site. I like the 100 books a year resolution!

  3. my resolution was kinda lofty — but i know my homework assignments and your support will make a huge difference. thanks, life coach 😉

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